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FICOFI: Louis Jadot 2015, 2014 & 2005

June 21, 2019

20190530_183807.jpgThibault Gagey (son of owner Pierre-Henry) of Louis Jadot held a masterclass under the auspices of FICOFI at The Straits Clan, Singapore, on 30 May 2019 that focused on three of its principal reds – Clos Saint-Jacques 1er, Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru and Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru – each featuring the same vintages of 2015, 2014 and 2005.

I arrived on time to find Thibault in great spirits even though he had spent the week through a whirlwind East Asian tour. As we chatted, the 2014 Domaine Louis Jadot Beaune Greves Le Clos Blanc 1er was being poured liberally from jeroboam. A blend of two plots totaling 1.1 ha, this wine proffers an effusive sweet floral bouquet cloaked within a solid sheen of creme de la creme, exuding a delicate perfumed fragrance that imparted a distinct feminine presence, further enhanced by its fine balance, gentle acidity and transparent minerality. Most lovely.

Before we sat down at the long table, Kok Hong (the preferred sommelier of FICOFI) quickly poured me another pair of whites that was non other than the domaine’s 1.8 ha Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru (another 1.0 ha of their Corton is planted with pinot noir), vinified in whole bunches in 228-litre barrels for 15 months with one-third new oak. The 2017 Domaine Louis Jadot Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru exudes a distinct bouquet of grassy elements and fresh morning dew, imbued with sublime acidity that conferred taut tension across the palate, displaying great concentration, balance and proportion, seamlessly integrated. When a wine such as this has everything in place right from the outset, it’s potential cannot be over-estimated. In contrast, the 2011 Domaine Louis Jadot Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru proffers cool white fruit amidst floral signatures, medium-bodied, beautifully rounded with an even tone, displaying wonderfully transparent textures with a soft easy charm. Most understated, it took on a more prominent note of menthol over time as it fleshed out with greater fullness, finishing well.

Starting the tasting proper, we began first with the  famous 6.7 ha Clos Saint-Jacques 1er of which Louis Jadot owns 1.0 ha, purchased in 1985. There are only four other owners of this hallowed plot (Armand Rousseau with the lion’s share at 2.2 ha, Sylvie Esmonin (1.6 ha), Bruno Clair (1.0 ha) and Fourrier (0.89 ha)). The 2015 Domaine Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint-Jacques 1er gave off distant hues of rose petals, rather reserved on the nose while the palate is equally placid with a quiet intensity in spite of the excellent fullness and purity of fruit, taut with sleek acidity and linearity. Great potential here but clearly in need of further cellaring. Next to it, the 2014 Domaine Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint-Jacques 1er displayed a good pinot tint with a hint of burnt toast on the nose amid recessed red fruits, fleshy and well-structured with sandy minerally textures that appear to be highly characteristic of the vintage, imbued with very fine acidity that tapered to a lasting finish. The full potential of this vineyard was revealed in the 2005 Domaine Louis Jadot Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Saint-Jacques 1er.


Thibault Gagey

Notably richer on the nose with a lovely burnished tone, this wine displayed excellent presence and intensity with a fleshy roundedness, exuding delicious juicy succulence with very well-integrated acidity, very lovely in its transparent textures. Very sleek and well-balanced, finishing with a lengthy sweet  glowing persistence. Excellent.

The tasting moved on to Chapelle-Chambertin where Jadot’s lot is grown from American woodstock. The 2015 Domaine Louis Jadot Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru displayed a most enticing nose of red fruits and cherries with rosy hues, richly layered with red fruits and raspberries that exude a fabulous controlled intensity that matched very well with the superb ripeness, acidity and fullness. Superbly balanced without any jarring parts. Excellent. The 2014 Domaine Louis Jadot Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru was well-developed on the bouquet, displaying violets, blueberries and raspberries with some early complexity, while the open and fleshy palate was slightly more earthy and minerally, entirely consistent with the vintage as noted with the Clos Saint-Jacques above. Very fine, just missing the opulence of the 2015. The 2005 Domaine Louis Jadot Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru was surprisingly reserved in spite of the significant bottle age, almost aloof. Although it was quite fleshy, open and approachable in its medium-bodied proposition, it wasn’t the most profound of wines, well balanced though a bit more minerally on the whole.

Finally, we come to Jadot’s 0.42 ha Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru, comprising largely old vines from American woodstock first planted in 1922-23. Bold, rounded and dark, the 2015 Domaine Louis Jadot Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru was surprisingly open at this stage with highly supple textures, generously layered with dark currants and cherries, very lively and sophisticated and subtly structured with fine intensity, finishing with great persistence. Excellent. The 2014 Domaine Louis Jadot Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru, brighter in tone and colour, was imbued with a predominance of red cherries and currants that exude a lovely controlled fragrance though it is tipped towards a more minerally balance on the palate, highly supple but somewhat reserved in demeanour, a little short as well. In contrast, the 2005 Domaine Louis Jadot Chambertin-Clos de Beze Grand Cru is a glorious example of Chambertin at its prime: highly effusive in raspberries and dark currants on the nose, very lovely in ripeness and depth, equally stunning as well on the palate where its suppleness, sublime acidity and subtle intensity of dark currants, red cherries and raspberries evoke excellent presence underscored by complex graphite minerals, all very well balanced with youthful intensity. Brilliant! A fitting piece de resistance to a wonderful lineup.

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